While mobile phones were once considered cutting edge technology, in the future you could have a phone in anything from personal digital organisers to a brooch, thanks to new technology from IBM.
Big Blue has come up with a way of improving its manufacturing technique for integrated chips using a material known as ?silicon germanium? or SiGe. SiGe is basically a cheaper, high-performance material that will enable communications capabilities to be put in personal digital organisers, such as the PalmPilot, as well as a wide range of other consumer devices, including digital watch phones, according to IBM.
?Because it requires dramatically less power than conventional silicon chips, SiGe technology will soon make today?s compact, high-performance consumer electronics even smaller,? said an IBM statement.
These devices will be more portable and will need to be charged less often. Because more transistors--the microscopic circuits that enable these intelligent devices--can be packed onto a single chip, tomorrow?s SiGe-based communications devices also promise to be more sophisticated.
Unlike chips crafted using the more expensive and less-reliable gallium arsenide, SiGe chips can be produced on existing production lines with minimal changes and retooling. IBM confirmed that it is already producing SiGe chips.
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